Allen West Looks Ahead to Senate Bid in 2016

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: September 28, 2013 3:55 AM

Allen West

Allen West

Allen West could attempt to return to Capitol Hill in 2016 if Marco Rubio runs for president. But West could find running for the U.S. Senate to be a difficult assignment.

West talked to the Tampa Bay Times this week and shot down rumors that he would primary Rubio in 2016. Some conservatives and tea parties have called for West to challenge Rubio after the senator’s support of immigration reform. West continues to show no interest in taking Rubio on. But, when asked what he would do if Rubio ran for the Republican presidential nomination and not for the Senate, West said he would be very interested in campaigning for an open Senate seat.

Popular with the tea party movement, West has proven to be a strong fundraiser. Despite losing his congressional seat to Patrick Murphy last year, West has remained something of a political player, rallying conservatives in Florida and at the national level. West remains popular with large swaths of the Republican base and should be a player if he enters the Senate primary. West might be out of office but he’s not out of politics and he should be able to keep the attention of likely primary voters.

But West certainly has his weaknesses. While it was close, West lost out to Murphy and Republicans have grumbled that he did not focus enough on grassroots campaigning. West’s conservatism and shoot-from-the-hip style endears him to conservatives but won’t play as well in a general election, especially with a presidential election taking place in 2016 and Florida, as usual, expected to be a battleground state.

West won’t be the only Republican looking to move up the ladder, especially with an open Senate seat in play. George LeMieux could make another Senate bid. While most observers expect them to run for governor, the likes of Jeff Atwater, Adam Putnam and Will Weatherford could focus on Washington instead of Tallahassee. Add into the mix young congressmen like Tom Rooney, Trey Radel and Ron DeSantis and West could be facing a crowded primary.

The Republican leadership won’t want West to run, especially in a presidential year. It’s hard to imagine Republicans beating the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016 -- presumably Hillary Clinton -- with Florida. They will pull out all the stops to ensure the often controversial and blunt West will not be on the ballot in November 2016.

At the very least, the Republican leadership can breathe a sigh of relief that West won’t go after Scott next year in the primary. In the interview, West shows no interest of going to Tallahassee, either as a rival or a running mate to Scott.

Wherever he goes, West is not fading off into obscurity like so many one-term congressmen. West will continue to remain a factor for Republicans in Florida and could pop up as a Senate candidate in 2016 or 2018.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis piece exclusively for Sunshine State News

Comments (9)

4:22PM OCT 2ND 2013
Floridians Are tired Of the Republican Mafia watch them loose Big Next year watch the republican legislator next year when they campaign will blame the democrats the truth is the Florida legislator is 90% Republican
KrisAnne Hall
5:57AM SEP 30TH 2013
Oh great. West didn't figure out that the REAL Constitutional Conservatives figured out that he is an ENEMY of the Constitution with his anti-Constitution voting record? West didn't lose because of voter fraud, West lost because the GrassRoots figured out that although he might be a military man, he was NEVER a lover of the Constitution. Just because you have a loud mouth, just because you can criticize the Dems and President, just because you like to blow things up...DOESN'T make you a Conservative and DOESN'T make you a Liberty minded Constitutionalist!
8:12PM SEP 29TH 2013
fox news fantasy. west couldn't get elected to a state wide office even with republican vote rigging. dream on !
8:20PM SEP 28TH 2013
West can't win a gerrymandered Republican dominated congressional district after putting out $18 million, so what makes you believe he can win a statewide or national election, even in Florida . . . dream on all you want . . . . clearly someone's been engaging in too much Fox Noise truthiness perusing . . .

Pathetic . . .
Tom DeRita
9:36AM SEP 28TH 2013
West will make the right decision, his popularity and ability to raise tons of money make him a contender. Timing is every thing and West is too smart to miss his opportunity,
4:18PM OCT 2ND 2013
west is The dumbest Republican In FloriDUH has next to Rick Scott
7:36AM SEP 28TH 2013
If the Republicans want to win elections, they won't lift up West as their candidate. Out of his small sphere, he's much too controversial.
7:15AM SEP 28TH 2013
Marco Rubio will not run in 2016, since he will have to give up his seat in the Senate. Every Senator that has run for President did so on an off year while keeping his seat. It should be a requirement that in order to run for another office, any elected official should be required to resign the seat they hold.

Allen West should plan on running for President or challenge Rubio for the Senate. Rubio has been giving off questionable vibes lately. In my opinion Rubio is like a super athlete that gets caught dealing drugs and goes from hero to zero. I don't trust Rubio anymore and that is the general feeling in the conservative camp.
8:19PM SEP 28TH 2013
Maybe, just maybe, after losing the Governorship, the stork will run and spend his remaining fortune (and lose) . . . . . besides, at least we don't have to worry about your prognostications, as abundantly demonstrated by your recent crystal gazing . . . . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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